BRUSSELS, Belgium (Nov. 13)—Advanced Elastomer Systems L.P. and Applicazioni Plastiche Industriali S.p.A. formed a strategic alliance that will foster the development, manufacture and marketing of new thermoplastic elastomer compounds. The alliance provides for close cooperation between AES and API in the development of new thermoplastic vulcanizate compounds for consumer and industrial market applications, AES said. "A key component of our global growth strategy provides for enhanced service to local customers to address specific market opportunities," said Sev Gurion, AES vice president of strategic initiatives. "Our alignment with key regional compounders is an important step in meeting this objective." AES is a limited partnership between ExxonMobil Chemical Co. and Solutia Inc. API is Italy´s largest plastics compounder engaged in the development, manufacture, sales and distribution of plastic and thermoplastic compounds.